How To Plan a No-Buy

“How To Plan a No-Buy”

I hope I find you well!

How To Plan a No-Buy

As one goes through their personal style journey, it is inevitable to come across pieces you are drawn to. A rule of thumb I like to abide by is to avoid impulse purchases. (I’ve concocted a process that helps prevent impulse purchases and have dubbed it your “Beauty Policy”. Click here to read it.) One of the methods listed is to wait a set period of time, (mine being 30 days), before purchasing. This allows you to thoroughly weigh and process the decision.

I’ve noticed that during my personal style check-ins with myself, I put more emphasis on acquiring pieces; Adding to my wardrobe to strengthen the establishment of my distinct personal style. When in fact, I’d like to be drawing inspiration from the pieces that already exist in my wardrobe.

What is a “No-Buy”?

To facilitate drawing inspiration from my wardrobe, I’ve decided to go on a “No-Buy”. A no-buy is essentially a period of time in which one commits to refrain from spending on a predetermined category of items/experiences. My no-buy is in regard to non-essential fashion and beauty items.

How To Plan a No-Buy

When entering a no-buy, I think it important to have set terms or a plan in play. There are four crucial points to address when planning your no-buy period:

  1. The duration.

Have a start and an end. If you feel you want to extend the no-buy, by all means. But experiencing a no-buy in increments of time will make the task seem more accessible.

2. What category your no-buy is targeted toward, if not all things.

Think of the areas in which you want to cut costs or spend more than ideal.

3. Any exceptions you will afford yourself.

This point ensures that you don’t get “burnt out” before the completion of your no-buy period. It also acts as a policy to ensure you aren’t going without items you deem necessary. For instance, repurchasing replacements. Or allowing yourself a set number of purchases.

4. As well as a reward system.

Think of how you’d like to celebrate this “win”.

How will you celebrate your wins?

I think, for me, it is important to have a reward system in place to provide incentive and celebrate accomplishments. In my case, the overall reward is the primary reason for this no-buy. Though, I may implement a minor reward system of sorts for positive reinforcement.

You may want to sort out how you’ll re-enter the world of consumerism without restriction when your no-buy is completed. If your no-buy is more than a mere challenge of will, it would be fruitless to complete a no-buy to then waste that money saved. You may want to also get a defined grasp on your reasoning for conducting a no-buy. This can aid in keeping the goal in mind to ensure success.

But to address the four pillars of a No-Buy Plan…

How To Plan a No-Buy | Ardently Ana
For the primary reason of saving, but also to reacquaint oneself with their wardrobe. Just a couple reasons among many to start a No-Buy.

My No-Buy Plan

For this no-buy, I am vowing to go (1) three months without spending money on (2) clothing, beauty and makeup of any sort. Ordering takeaway and eating out will also be limited to once per month, and must be either, or. (This is an essential part to my plan because I can easily spend just as much on dining as I do on beauty items and the like. Leaving this unaddressed would undermine my goal.)

(3) The exceptions to these rules would be: essential skincare; the aforementioned dining allowance; and three separate beauty purchases, (less than a determined dollar amount each). I have one of these three purchases already planned out. Though the jury is out on what the other two shall be. These three purchases are not guaranteed, though. My appetite for items waxes and wanes. So, I think allotting myself this grace will do a great deal of good.

I was going to make my three purchases my reward system. Though, I quite like the idea having a reward system that doesn’t have monetary requirements. So, I’ve decided to (4) reward myself once at the end of every successful month with a full day of no responsibilities, tasks or errands to fulfill. My schedule and tasks to do whilst wearing my writer hat are never ending. So, this reward will be warmly welcomed.

Keep It Simple

These four crucial points are, in my opinion, all you need to conduct a successful no-buy period. (With extra emphasis on exceptions. Giving yourself grace holds the promise of carrying you throughout.) It is a proven fact that one can only make so many “good” decisions in one day. So, try not to make your policy too stringent. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure.

May the odds be in your favor!

In truth, I have been entertaining the idea of conducting a no-buy for some time. I am only now doing so to enable a purchase that I foresee come autumn/winter season. If I were to make said purchase without a change in behavior, I’d be violating my Beauty Policy. (I shall share the purchase after it has been made.) And I suppose my reason also covers my intentions post no-buy. And once post no-buy, I shall indeed reinstate my Beauty Policy; Though may reevaluate this decision if I feel so inclined. Some decide to endeavor a life of minimalism. Considering I embrace my maximalist tendencies, I don’t expect this will be my route.

A No-Buy is Personal

Though my no-buy is focused on fashion and beauty, yours doesn’t have to be. And not everyone is going to be conducting a no-buy to ensure a future purchase. Or reacquaint themselves with their wardrobe, for that matter. You can set a no-buy in place for everything and anything. Your end goal can be as simple as proving you were able to do it, or as deep-rooted as needing to disrupt self-deprecating behavior. You may have implemented exceptions that allow you to make purchases of your no-buy category. It is still a no-buy. Each individual no-buy is going to differ immensely from the next. It doesn’t make it any less of a no-buy than the one prior.

I hope this has given you inspiration on how to plan your no-buy. This particular topic is one of great interest to me.So, if you’ve ever conducted one or are about to, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments or via email!

Ready, set, No-Buy!




  1. Jenny / @dreamcolorscheme
    May 6, 2022 / 4:54 am

    Great post Ana ~ I especially like the “free day” rward idea haha

    • Ana
      May 6, 2022 / 5:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Jenny! I’m glad you enjoyed it:)

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